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Long Island

Snow plows were absent from some LI streets

A snow plow rolls down Leher Street in

A snow plow rolls down Leher Street in Elmont. (Dec. 28, 2010) Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin

Looking out on their street, still buried in snow more than 48 hours after the blizzard passed, residents of Wellington Court in Westbury groused they had been "forgotten."

The tires of SUVs had dug ruts that made the cul-de-sac passable, if slippery. But even after some melting, a foot of snow remained between the tire tracks.

Finally, shortly before 4 p.m. Wednesday, the plows arrived.

"I do understand that it's a tertiary block" - the third-ranked and lowest priority, said Irene Ritaccio, 39, who earlier in the day called Newsday in frustration. That was after she and her neighbors had placed some 20 calls to Hempstead Town, Ritaccio said.

"They [cul-de-sacs] always get plowed after the primary and secondary streets. . . . But this time, they just forgot about us completely," she said.

Though Long Island's storm response bested that of New York City, where side streets in many neighborhoods remained buried Wednesday, there were scattered flurries of complaints from homeowners on some of Long Island's tertiary roads and cul-de-sacs who were still waiting to be dug out.

In many cases, plows had passed during the storm, but hadn't been back since.

In Huntington Station, some streets still seemed better suited for a snowmobile than a car, said Linda Schiess of West 10th Street, which she said was cleared about 4 p.m. It had not been salted as of Wednesday, and remained icy, "like a mirror," she said in an e-mail.

Huntington Town spokesman A.J. Carter referred questions late Wednesday afternoon to the town's highway superintendent, who could not be reached.

In Islip hamlet, Winthrop Street, another cul-de-sac, was still blanketed in snow Wednesday afternoon.

"On Sunday, a plow made a couple of passes, but the wind and the last foot of snow falling defeated those efforts," resident George Broschart wrote in an e-mail.

Islip Town spokeswoman Amy Basta said Winthrop Street would be cleared overnight.

"All of the streets are passable," she said. "We went down every street. That doesn't mean curb to curb, because there were a lot of cars in the street. Do some of them need to be widened? Of course."

She said the town's tertiary streets should be cleared by tonight.

Responding to an inquiry from Newsday about Wellington Court in Westbury, Hempstead Town spokesman Michael Deery said a plow passed once over the cul-de-sac early in the storm Sunday evening. But the snow kept on coming through Monday morning.

"Unfortunately, it's a terrible inconvenience to neighbors on the street who want their road the way it should be," he said. "We have 1,200 miles of roadway. The overwhelming majority of roads in the Town of Hempstead were completed. As we receive reports, we'll respond."

Less than an hour after a call from a Newsday reporter, three vehicles showed up to plow Wellington Court.

Ryan Howard, a computer engineer, watched the long-awaited snow cleanup and joked that he'd seek a partial tax refund for his trouble.

"I have every intention of sending them a letter for my $2 back," he said.

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